- Actors: Gary Oldman, Harrison Ford
- Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: Parents Strongly CautionedPG-13
- Studio: 20th Century Fox
- DVD Release Date: September 23, 2014
- Run Time: 106 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 293 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00FFT19XS
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,269 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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The high stakes thriller Paranoia takes us deep behind the scenes of global success to a deadly world of greed and deception. The two most powerful tech billionaires in the world (Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman) are bitter rivals with a complicated past who will stop at nothing to destroy each other. A young superstar (Liam Hemsworth), seduced by unlimited wealth and power falls between them, and becomes trapped in the middle of the twists and turns of their life-and-death game of corporate espionage. By the time he realizes his life is in danger, he is in far too deep and knows far too much for them to let him walk away.
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The film is adapted from a best-seller corporate-espionage novel. Adam Cassidy [Liam Hemsworth] heads a small team of developers working at Wyatt Corporation. The action is supposed to be set in Manhattan, though the filming was actually in Philadelphia. Adam is a “bridge and tunnel kid”, as his would-be girlfriend puts it. That is, he lives in New Jersey and commutes into Manhattan, and he is middle class at best, but aspiring to climb up the ladder of corporate success and become at least moderately rich. All his team-mates have the same dreams.
Wyatt Corporation is locked in a death-struggle with its arch-competitor, Eikon Corp (I LOVE the name!). In this age of merging media, each aspires to gain dominance over the cellphone industry and basically, every other form of electronic media to boot. Gary Oldman plays the boss of Wyatt Corp, and Harrison Ford plays “Jocko”: Jock Goddard, the head of Eikon. Watching the competition, I couldn’t help but think of Apple vs. Microsoft, though perhaps Apple vs. Google is a more apt comparison today…
Well, Adam blows his presentation to the boss and he and his entire team are let go. Then the boss offers him one chance to redeem himself: weasel his way into the competitor, Eikon, and steal the designs for their upcoming cellphone. Adam is reluctant. “It’s criminal! I could go to prison!” Oldman/Wyatt points out that EVERY CORPORATION steals from other corporations. This is business as usual…
So Wyatt positions Adam Cassidy as an apparent big star at his company, and gets him recruited by Eikon, his competitor. Now the plot truly begins.
Naturally Adam falls head-over-heels for a bright and attractive young executive at Eikon, Emma Jennings, played by Amber Heard. And gee, Harrison Ford’s Jocko seems like such a LIKEABLE guy. Sincere; interested in producing great new products; informal, even kind to his employees. By contrast, Wyatt and company appear….well, downright EVIL…
In discussing the Next Big Thing, Jocko explains to Adam that “People are gonna LOVE it! They’ll have instant connectivity to everything they want! And….we’ll know everything about them!” Adam says uneasily, “Do you think people will be bothered by all their personal information being under one roof?” To which Jocko replies, “No…what will matter more to them is that nice COZY FEELING under that roof.”
Well of course it turns out that “Jocko” is nowhere near as benevolent as he seems on the surface, nor is he fooled by Adam or by Wyatt. Adam is the biggest chump, getting manipulated by both companies in turn. Can he manage to survive in one piece?
Without revealing too much of the plot, I’ll just say it manages to find a reasonably happy ending. But what still resonates with me is the images: cellphone voice recorders recording you when you don’t know they are; their cameras filming you while you don’t know; TV set-cameras recording you; and you have no idea how many people have access to all your data, nor what they may do with it. That sobering reaity in this “internet age” goes way beyond one character’s story, or even the story of two corporations. I give this film a B. Some reviewers hated it, and said it offered absolutely nothing new. I think that it kept up a good pace, had me feeling the emotions Adam was feeling, and left me pondering bigger issues at the end.
Long story short, I really enjoyed it. Is it some major action movie blockbuster that has potential to take over the world and every action loving fan with it? No. And that is where I think a lot of the poor reviews are coming from. It isn't a movie that is completely going to blow your mind.
Is it entertaining? Pretty good cast? A cohesive flow? Understandable? Pretty good acting? A decent amount of action? And interesting story? Yes to all of the above.
I especially liked the story. Has it been done before? Yes. But it was entertaining enough to keep my focus glued to the TV, so that's what counts. Sometimes I felt like there could have been a little more emotion - or perhaps a different emotion shown. But I didn't think it to be one of those movies where the potential was completely lost because of poor acting.
Overall, if you're looking for a decent movie with a little bit of hit and run thrill, you might be pleased with this.